Frontier Airlines World Mastercard® Credit Card By Barclays 2020 Review
The Frontier Airlines World Mastercard®* is a worthwhile option for those who travel within Frontier’s network. It could also be useful for someone looking to consolidate other credit card debt with this card’s promotional introductory rate on balance transfers. While it does come with an $79 annual fee, many can find ways to obtain value that can far outweigh it.Pros
- Welcome bonus with low spending requirement
- 0% APR intro offer on eligible balance transfers
- No foreign transaction fee
- $79 annual fee
- Miles expire after six months of inactivity (temporarily paused due to COVID-19)
- Redeeming miles can be difficult if not living within Frontier’s network
- Earn 40,000 bonus miles after spending $500 on purchases in the first 90 days and paying the annual fee
- 0% Intro APR on balance transfers for 15 months
More HighlightsFrontier Airlines World Mastercard®LEARN MORE →REGULAR APR15.99% – 24.99% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfersANNUAL FEE$79WELCOME BONUS Earn 40,000 bonus milesCREDIT SCORE –
Table of Contents
- At a Glance
- Other Card Benefits
- Fine Print
- How The Card Stacks Up
- Compare Frontier Airlines World Mastercard With Other Cards
- Is The Card For You?
Frontier Airlines is a low-cost carrier and the 8th largest US-based airline. If you’re a flyer based in one of Frontier’s hub or focus cities, you’ve probably familiar with the bear prominently featured in much of their advertising and even on their planes. Frontier Airlines has its own co-branded credit card, issued by Barclays, and it’s pretty enticing for those who can fly within their network.
The welcome offer for the card is: Earn 40,000 bonus miles after spending $500 on purchases in the first 90 days and paying the annual fee. It’s not uncommon to expect to pay roughly 20,000 miles, plus taxes and fees, for a domestic round-trip flight depending on the time of year. This means that this offer could roughly equate to two domestic round-trip tickets. With such a low minimum spending threshold to receive the welcome offer, it could be advantageous to get this card.
Another target audience for this card is those looking to consolidate credit card debt. The Frontier card offers a 0% APR intro offer on balance transfers made within the first 45 days and is subject to this promo rate for the first 15 billing cycles. While your balance transfer would be subject to a 3% balance transfer fee ($5 minimum), 15 months of 0% APR will more than make up for it in most cases.
At a Glance
- $79 annual fee
- Manageable welcome bonus spending requirement
- Bonus miles when spending in certain categories
- No foreign transaction fee
- No penalty APR for late payments (late fee still applies)
- No fraud liability if your card is ever lost or stolen
- 24/7 customer service
- Accepted wherever Mastercard is accepted
The welcome offer can be obtained by meeting the following requirements:
- $500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
- Payment of the $79 annual fee (billed in the first billing cycle)
This card also offers bonus miles for spending within certain categories with this card. This includes:
- 5 miles per dollar spent on flights purchases made on flyfrontier.com
- 3 miles per dollar spent on restaurant purchases
- 1 mile per dollar spent on all other purchases
The limitation many see with the redemption of Frontier miles is their limited network in comparison to other U.S.-based airlines. Frontier’s hub is in Denver with focus cities in Atlanta, Chicago (O’Hare), Cleveland, Cincinnati, Las Vegas, Miami, Orlando, Philadelphia, Raleigh and Trenton. All hope isn’t lost if you’re not based in one of these cities, but redeeming miles will mean a connecting flight will be likely when traveling to one of the destinations Frontier flies to.
It should be noted that Frontier does not have a great reputation for customer service. The biggest problem with Frontier is that if your flight is cancelled or delayed, it could be days before another flight is available. Nonstop flights are always preferable on Frontier Airlines to minimize the risk of delays and cancellations.
For example, booking a ticket between San Francisco and Dallas would require a connection in Denver when flying Frontier while non-stop options exist on both American Airlines and United Airlines. Tickets start at 20,000 miles round-trip for a value season domestic ticket.
While the domestic presence is stronger, Frontier does fly to Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and parts of Central America. Note that flight prices for travel outside of the U.S. will typically cost more miles. For example, Denver to Cancun typically costs about 30,000 miles round-trip for a value ticket plus taxes and fees (roughly $80 round-trip).
Finally, booking an award ticket is subject to an award redemption fee, up to $75. This fee is completely negated when using your Frontier Airlines World Mastercard to pay for the taxes and fees of the award ticket.
The card’s reward structure is best designed for those who opt to travel with Frontier or those who often eat at restaurants. To determine the rewards potential for this card, we will focus on these two categories and how the typical American household might spend in these areas.
Forbes uses data from various government agencies to establish a baseline income and spending averages across various categories. The 70th percentile of wage-earning households earn $100,172 annually and we will base spending on this number. Forbes Advisor estimates that a family with this level of income would reasonably expect to spend $26,410 on a credit card.
Based on Forbes Advisor’s estimate, a household spends $1,755 on flights, which would earn 5 miles per dollar. Restaurant spending totals $4,406, which would earn 3 miles per dollar. This leaves $20,249 left to be spent in categories where only 1 mile per dollar spent would be earned.
Our example family could expect to earn roughly 42,242 miles per year in addition to the first year welcome offer, enough for approximately two domestic round-trip tickets. Because every family’s spending patterns may differ, we suggest examining household spending patterns and compare rewards for any card that you are considering.
Other Card Benefits
Aside from the benefits and protections of having a globally accepted Mastercard, The Frontier Airlines World Mastercard comes with plenty of other perks. Those include:
- $100 Frontier Flight Discount: Awarded annually to credit cardholders who spend $2,500 on their card per year. This discount voucher is offered after your account anniversary.
- Earn Toward Elite Status: 1 qualifying mile per dollar is earned with each dollar spent on purchases or by flying Frontier.
- Priority Boarding: Automatic upgrade to the “Zone 2” boarding group for flights.
- Account Pooling: Allows for the consolidation of miles across multiple Frontier accounts into one account, making redemptions easier.
- $0 Fraud Liability: If your card is ever lost or stolen, you’re not held responsible for unauthorized charges.
- FICO® Score Access: Complimentary access to your credit score and credit monitoring.
- Smart Chip (EMV) Technology
- APR on Purchases: 15.99% – 24.99% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
- APR on cash advances: 25.24% (variable)
- Intro APR: N/A
- Intro APR on Balance Transfer: 0% Intro APR on balance transfers for 15 months
- Penalty APR: none
- Grace Period: at least 23 days
- Annual Fee: $79
- Balance Transfer Fee: Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
- Foreign Transaction Fee: 0% of each transaction in U.S. dollars
- Cash Advance Fee: Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater
- Late Penalty Fee: up to $39
- Returned Payment Fee: up to $39
How The Card Stacks Up
Frontier Airlines World Mastercard vs. Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® card*
The Alaska Airlines Visa Signature ® card is a comparable card given it is a smaller U.S.-based airline with a limited network. Their current welcome offer is: Get 40,000 bonus miles and Alaska’s Famous Companion Fare™ from $121 ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $22) with this offer. To qualify, make purchases of $2,000 or more within the first 90 days of opening your account. The card comes with a comparable $0 Introductory Fee for the first year. After that, your Annual Fee will be $75.
Those who travel to or live in Seattle, Anchorage, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Portland may find this card more valuable as these are Alaska’s hub cities. This card offers 3 miles for every dollar spent on eligible Alaska Airlines purchases and 1 mile for every dollar spent on all other purchases. This makes mileage earning potential much less in comparison with the Frontier card.
Travelers tend to lean toward this card for two primary reasons beyond hub locations: Alaska’s Companion Fare™ and its airline partners. The companion fare serves as a buy one, get one for $99 plus taxes and fees (from $22). This perk is awarded annually with no purchase required to obtain. This is great when considering booking two tickets coast to coast or to Hawaii. Alaska miles can be used to book award tickets on many popular airlines such as American Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines and Korean Air, which is a significant advantage over Frontier.
Frontier Airline World Mastercard vs. Spirit Airlines™ World Mastercard®*
With operating bases in Atlantic City, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Ft. Lauderdale, Las Vegas and Orlando, Spirit Airlines’ network may work better for you. This ultra-low-cost carrier offers a credit card with a welcome offer of 15,000 miles after your first purchase and an additional 15,000 miles making at least $500 in purchases within the first 90 days.
The card earns 2 miles per dollar spent on every purchase. Flight redemptions start at a low 2,500 miles one-way plus applicable taxes and fees with no blackout dates. The also offers an anniversary bonus of 5,000 miles when spending at least $10,000 annually on the card. The annual fee is $0 the first year with subsequent years at $59.
Spirit has a reputation of being no-frills with limited refreshment services, entertainment and even charges for carry-on bags. With that in mind, Spirit is known for charging some of the lowest base rates on airfares, so comparing all-in costs is always recommended.
Frontier Airlines World Mastercard vs. Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card
Southwest’s entry-level co-branded credit card comes with a mix of positives and negatives when compared to Frontier. The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card comes with a welcome offer:Earn up to 80,000 points. Earn 50,000 points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Earn an additional 30,000 points after you spend $10,000 on purchases in the first 9 months. This spending requirement is hefty given that the card is considered entry-level, but so is the welcome bonus.
This card also offers 3,000 points every year on your cardmember anniversary and gives 2 points per dollar spent on Southwest Airlines and Rapid Rewards ® hotel and car rental partner purchases (1 point per dollar on everything else). Award tickets booked may also be canceled at any time without a fee.
Southwest’s baggage policy is generous: First and second checked bags fly free on Southwest (weight and size limits apply). This is fantastic for those who need the extra luggage capacity, but who don’t want the added expense. Many also like the no change fees policy, which led the industry until very recently.